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      Misty Marshall: Selling myself short

      Well, I did it! I am finally a graduate from Baker College! I now have my bachelor??s degree in Human Services! To me, this accomplishment marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life because after five years of being a student I suddenly find myself with no books to read, reports to write, or classes to attend. It feels awesome, yet a bit empty.

      Now that I am an alumni student I have spent much time in thought about what I want to accomplish with this life that I have been given and one thing is sure, I know that I am here to inspire others! I know that I was given a gift from my father of being a ??people person??. I love spending time with others, and seem to have a gift to talk. With that being said much thought has been put into figuring out my next journey.

      My dream for as long as I can remember has been to enter the world of child welfare. I have been an adoptive mom to my handsome three sons and have been a foster mom for nearly six years. My brother who passed away in 1995 inspired me to help as many children as I can who have been victims of abuse and neglect. I have the credentials to do so now, however is it wrong of me to think that maybe I have been set aside in this life for helping a different population of people?

      The other day when I was working out with Ryan the Magnificent (aka, my personal trainer) I was talking to him about my blog writings. We were also talking about how dreaming big can lead to endless possibilities. He told me not to sell myself short by just being content as a foster care specialist or someone who sits behind a desk pushing papers. He used the word potential?|he told me that this journey with 7&4 could put me in places that I never dreamed possible. He said I could be a motivational speaker, a writer, a Richard Simmons!

      Now, as a person who likes to dream big Ryan got me to thinking! I have known for a long time that I am not just an ordinary individual. Society teaches that if you are obese you are lazy, undisciplined, and or second-class. I have never fit in to any of those categories and I can??t help but to wonder if there are other individuals out there like me who just need a little bit of ??potential reminding??.

      So far the greatest barrier to success during this journey into healthy living has been my own mind. Sometimes I think to myself why am I doing this, and is it really going to do any good? What dream am I trying to accomplish by doing this? Each time I think about this I remember that I have been given an opportunity of a lifetime, one that isn??t something to take lightly or for granted.

      Let me be transparent with you for a minute. As an overweight child I was constantly made fun of. There were several times that I was in tears over something insensitive that had been said, and my feelings were always being hurt. When this happened I often felt like my potential was being sucked out of me right along with my self-esteem. It was like a balloon with a small pinhole slowly decreasing in size, as the air escapes so does the dreams of one who has been suppressed by negative thoughts and experiences. As my body gets smaller, perhaps it is time to re-inflate the balloon, only this time with big dreams!

      Finding my self-esteem has been a process that has not happened without many obstacles. Sometimes I still remember something that was said to me as a child and begin to think negatively, however I am learning that for as many negative words that were spoken, I have been given gifts that greatly outweigh any amount of negativity that could ever be spoken!

      Getting back to potential, it seems to me that potential is all of the unreleased dreams that one holds back because of fear of failure. One may possess the potential to create, prevent, or invent but the fear of stepping out of the ordinary may but a roadblock up for that individual. For me, my fear of being just another ??fat person?? has stopped me from dreaming big! It feels amazing to start to see the potential being released and my self-esteem increasing simply pulling from what has been inside me all along!

      I am beginning to no longer associate myself with obesity. In fact, it seems that food and I are no longer having the relationship problems we previously had. I know I will always be a food addict, but my potential to be more than an obese person is causing me to be able to look at food from a whole new perspective. Food to me has been one of the pins that have been pressed several times into my ??potential balloon?? and my journey into healthy living is helping to patch up those tiny pinholes thus changing my perspective.

      I say all of this to remind you today that if you are not living up to your fullest potential you are selling yourself short. I want to be the one today to tell you that you have potential in life and that I believe that there isn??t a person on this earth without a mission!

      In closing, this journey in life is a process. I am not sure what my next mission in life will be, but I can only hope that with what Ryan said, I can somehow take the ball and run with it, thus not selling myself short! I have dreams, I have ambitions, I have goals, and now I am learning to live up to my potential! (Some of those dreams I will talk about in future blogs?|so stay tuned!)

      The great news for today is you can come along with me on your own journey, whether it be weight loss, or some other ??crutch?? that has been holding you back?| we can dream big and by doing so accomplish huge things!

      I want you to focus today on what you have always dreamed of doing with your life but been unable to accomplish because of fear of failure or lack of self-esteem. Think of what would happen if we all started pulling from our potential balloons and stop selling ourselves short!

      Live your potential

      Lots of love,